PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Deli fans from across the Ocean State will mark Jan. 16, 2010 as the official return of the hot pastrami sandwich, as NYDP – that’s right, the New York Deli Patrol – is set to present an experience at Eastside Marketplace that’s unparalleled on this side of the East River.
The Boston-based artisan deli meat company, which is a newcomer to the Providence area, will be at the market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a celebration of National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day (officially on Jan. 14) , a day filled with, you guessed it, hot pastrami sandwiches using only first-cut briskets.
New York Deli Patrol’s hot artisan pastrami meat craze has taken restaurants in nearby Boston by storm. Their legions of fans include famed attorney and pastrami connoisseur Alan Dershowitz, who has a sandwich named after him at a Fenway neighborhood eatery that is aptly named “The Dersh.”
Dan Estridge, Founder, Curator, and Chief Flavor Officer of New York Deli Patrol and a New York native who grew up just outside the city, says he wants to bring the taste sensations that he vividly remembers from his youth to New Englanders who have never experienced the wonders of an authentic hot pastrami sandwich.
“You know, there are a few first-time sensations in life for which there can be no adequate preparation,” Estridge said. It’s warm, steamy, sexy, juicy, salty, spicy, smoky, succulent, and meltingly tender, I’m getting weak thinking about it again.”
Estridge and his company use only the finest quality meats available; no artificial fillers or the waterlogged cold cuts that one would typically find at the deli section of a supermarket.
“For a lot of supermarkets, their capacity to understand these richer products is truly limited,” Estridge said. “When people bite down into an authentic pastrami sandwich, they enjoy it as a real indulgence.”
New York Deli Patrol’s arrival comes at a time when the number of Providence delicatessens has dwindled significantly, particularly during the great recession. Many area delis like Gourmet Deli on the Square in Wayland Square have shuttered its doors after finding success in the catering business, while others, such as 729 Hope Cafe in the Mt. Hope neighborhood, have closed shop forever. Authentic New York style delicatessen meats in Rhode Island have gone the way of Ocean State relics like Miller’s Deli on Hope Street, a neighborhood deli that for generations specialized in New York style deli meats.
Today, there are no delicatessens in the Providence metropolitan area that even come close to matching the authentic New York deli experience provided by the legendary Katz Deli, located in the heart of New York City. Estridge said that New York Deli Patrol has a chance to play a role in Providence’s deli renaissance and help Rhode Islanders get back to the glory days of the neighborhood deli.
In a way, Estridge says that this lost art form is something that many Rhode Islanders has never experienced before.
“Sadly, most people today have no experience of the kind of deli we’re referring to," Estridge said. “But when they taste our deli meats, they tell me they never knew it could be like this. Mostly, people who say they love it are more familiar with the usual sort of salty-fatty-rubber you see grilled and served on sub-rolls.”
So how does New York Deli Patrol’s hot pastrami meat compare with some of the watery, more modern deli meats at the supermarket? In many ways, it simply doesn’t, according to Estridge.
“When you’re talking watery, modern deli meats at the supermarket, let’s face it, the deli products business is a commodity business,” Estridge said. The name of the game in commercial deli-manufacturing has for decades been simply making the product cheaper. Not to say the products are inexpensive, but they have been cheapened. “
Estridge wants to hearken back to the days when the neighborhood deli experience meant something; a communal experience that was best relished with friends and juicy artisan quality deli meats piled high on rye bread.
“In the past, people regarded deli and charcuterie as artisan products,” Estridge said. “But today, in this country, the business is very industrial, and cost considerations come first. No sane businessman would make products the way we do. But we felt that somebody had to step up and save these traditions. More flavor per pound – It’s the law!”
New York Deli Patrol will be at Eastside Marketplace on Jan. 16, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information on New York Deli Patrol and their fine artisan deli meats, please visit the New York Deli Patrol Web site at http://www.moreflavorperpound.com/.